How to be a professional gamer 4. Tommey

The UK's most complete Call of Duty player tells Red Bull how he made it to the top.
A picture of Tommey
Tommey in battle action
By Tom East

He's been described as the UK's most complete Call of Duty player, he's had more teams than former footballer Steve Claridge (okay, perhaps not quite that many) and he's currently representing Britain's top CoD outfit. We are talking about Tommey, who, along with the likes of Jurd and Swanny, is part of the Epsilon team who were recently beat rivals TCM at EGL 12 in Sheffield. In this interview, Tom 'Tommey' Trewren tells Red Bull how he made it as a pro gamer. Interestingly, it was a journey that didn't actually begin with Call of Duty.

How did you become a professional gamer?
I started out playing casually as everyone does, first playing Socom on the PlayStation 2 and ever since I have been hooked on the world of online gaming. I then progressed to games such as Halo and FIFA but I could never stay away from playing Call of Duty.

I can't really remember how I stumbled across the competitive scene but I used to play with my brother and a few of his friends and we ended up attending our first LAN event together (EGL/Decerto). I didn't really know what to expect but we managed to take second place in the team event and I took second in the FFA. Ever since then I've been attending events all over the world and working at every aspect of my game and attitude which has lead me to where I am today.

What was the first game you remember being really good at?
I'd say I was quite good at Socom but others may have a different opinion. I've always been average at most games I play but the one game I guess you could say that I'm really good at would be Call of Duty.

What do your friends and family think of your profession?
At first, I never really told my friends about it. My mother and brothers have always been very supportive of it as they understood it a lot more, especially my older brother as he sort of brought me into what I'm doing today. As of late, pretty much everyone knows what I do as a career right now and they all seem quite shocked to begin with but, as they get a better understanding, they actually think it's quite a cool profession to have.

A picture of Tommey
Tom 'Tommey' Trewren © Callum-Kai Isaac

How much do you practice?
This varies a lot; it all depends on what tournaments or events we have coming up as team. If we have one of the scale of a Call of Duty Championship then we'll try to get on every single day, even if it's for an hour or so, as each session of practice is vital to keeping your game at the top of its level. If we don't really have anything coming up at all we tend to take it easy but still put in a good few hours every other night.

What was your greatest ever victory?
That's a tough one; I've won a few events and I hold most of them dear as great wins but nothing will match finishing fifth at Call of Duty XP (the first "CoD Championship") and taking home $70,000 between the team. The feeling after knowing we had all earned that amount was insane. It's hard to describe.

What was your most painful defeat?
The most painful defeat is also the most recent. We recently played at the 2014 Call of Duty Championships and were one game away from breaking into the top eight. We were 2-0 up against the well known North American squad Team EnVyUS and we managed to lose it on the last map 6-5, meaning we were knocked out to 9th-12th (one spot away from placing in the money). I put so much effort in before and during the tournament, I felt drained.

I literally can't put into words how much disappointment I was feeling as soon as the game ended. We felt as a team that if we had taken that game we could have gone all the way or at least placed in the top three. Even writing this is bringing back all of the feelings I had as we lost. DAMN YOU.

A picture of Tommey
Tommey plays for Epsilon

What’s the best thing about being a professional gamer?

For me it has to be the fact that I get to do something I enjoy as my job, nothing can beat that. There are many other perks which come with it but, for me, that's the best.

Do you have time to play other games? If so, what are your favourites?
I tend to find myself spending a few hours on League of Legends and also FIFA, and as soon as the new Halo is released my stream viewers will be watching that for a while. I feel it's important to not just have everything revolving around Call of Duty as that can be very, very stressful.

How much money can you make from eSports?
If you're at the top of your game and you're widely known/viewed you can be earning up to six figures a year. CoD isn't at that stage yet - it's a long way off in fact but hopefully, one day in the near future, it'll be there. It all depends on if the game is popular. I know CoD is one of the most popular but the competitive scene is only just breaking out.

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